Being Mormon, Growing pains

Leaving Utah…for the first time.

Photo Credit: Tyler B

During my first year of University, I packed up all my belongings and moved to Los Angeles on a whim. I was eighteen.

My mom was not happy about this decision—I was in my second semester at Weber State University and I was working at a pharmacy in Ogden. A co-worker talked me into going to LA with her. She left a few weeks before me……………..I packed up my $1,000 piece-of-crap Datsun 310 (that I put $500 into and my parents matched my contribution) and headed off into the sunset.

Photo Credit: Cory Bouthillette

This was in 1990. And I had Janet Jackson’s Escapade blasting from my cassette tape deck as I drove over the Utah/Arizona state line.

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I remember being excited about being in another state without my parents and then something happened. A huge sound came from underneath the car that made my heart beat nervously. I pulled to the side of the freeway with cars speeding by. I got out, leaned down to look under my car. There was a long metal piece of something laying on the ground below my car. Not knowing what to do next, I got back in the car and cried. Discouraged, with fears of failure I screamed at the top of my lungs with anger and then cried some more. After that cleansing cry, I grabbed my belongings, put my hazard lights on and started walking to the nearest rest stop. I knew it was only 1 mile because I could see the sign not too far ahead of me. I saw this as a blessing.

As I started walking frightened by the speeding cars zooming past. Then I had passer byes yelling out and whistling out at me. Almost completely paralyzed, knowing this was not an ideal situation with only a few hours of daylight left. I walked a little aimlessly seeking help–a pay phone so I could call my step-dad to come and rescue me. Even though I didn’t recognize it at the time, but God had sent me help in the form of three generations: a dad, a grandpa, and a grandson on their way home. My Heavenly Father was not going to let me return home before my adventure had started.

They helped me by tieing up the muffler to the bottom of my car. It was not attached where it should be anymore but it was drivable even though the sent me off telling me to get it looked at when I made it to Las Vegas.

Los Angeles-LA

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I finally arrived in LA via a bit of time in Los Angeles but shocked by the advertising all around me. In Utah, it’s against the law to advertise alcohol on billboards. My sheltered eyes got their first shock and I’d not even arrived in tinsel town. I grew up fast in the two years I was in LA, a little too fast sometimes—I was on a steep learning curve.

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